BRIEF | SOUTH AFRICA 

Corruption Watch R317 million SASSA case postponed

SASSA will not oppose Corruption Watch application

Photo of SASSA car
Corruption Watch has applied in court to have a R317-million payment by SASSA to Net1 reversed. Archive photo: Barbara Maregele
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The R317 million court case launched in 2015 by Corruption Watch against Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), the company which pays social grants, has been postponed until February.

Corruption Watch has asked the Gauteng High Court to order CPS to pay back the R277 million plus VAT paid to it by SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) in 2014.

CPS had the contract with SASSA to biometrically register social grant recipients. CPS says it incurred an additional cost for registering 11 million additional beneficiaries, beyond those covered in the original contract and claimed a “cost recovery” of R277 million plus VAT, which SASSA paid.

But Corruption Watch says a “firm price” had been agreed to in the original contract (R16.44 per social grant recipient).

Corruption Watch also argues that SASSA took the decision to pay the R317 million without a proper internal audit of the costs claimed by CPS. It based its decision only on a report prepared by accountants KPMG which “did not constitute” an audit. ,

SASSA, cited as a respondent alongside CPS, has withdrawn its opposition to Corruption Watch’s application, leaving CPS to fight the application alone.

“We believe Corruption Watch’s claim is without merit and we are defending it vigorously,” CPS parent company Net1 told shareholders in its latest quarterly report.

The case was set down for last week, but was postponed until 22 February next year.

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